- Choppies charged with non compliance
- Choppies ordered to fix overtime rates
Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development Tshenolo Mabeo informed parliamant that government has called on Choppies Enterprises to address cases of employee illtreatment and unlawful labour practices by the local superstore.
The Minister made the disclosure when answering questions by Gaborone North Member of Parliament (MP) Haskins Nkaigwa in Parliament yesterday (Monday), on allegations of unlawful practices that have become synonymous with the embattled superstore. Nkaigwa had asked what efforts government taken to address some of the mounting concerns.
“My Ministry carried out labour inspections in thirty five (35) stores in the Choppies Entreprises country-wide from 8th -17th May 2018 and in Gaborone and Francistown on 27 November – 9th December 2018. The labour inspection revealed non compliance in some areas relating to overtime allowances, sick leave, management of contracts of employment, severance benefits and employee representative committees,” Mabeo told Parliament.
“The management of the company was advised on labour laws and where it was not in compliance with the law, it was required to bring the company practices in line with the law. In a meeting held by officials of my ministry and the management of the Choppies Enterprises on 4th February 2019, the management assured my Ministry that the defects that were identified during the labour inspection had been rectified.”
Mabeo further added that it was inappropriate for the company to deduct money from employees salaries for shortages incurred during their course of work. The company has also been found guilty on non-complaince with legislative provisions relating to overtime payments.
“Section 80 of the Employment Act outlines the items that can be deducted from an employee’s salary, and sales shortage is not one of those outlined. Although the issue of deductions from wages to offset shortage did not surface during the labour inspection, management has indicated that sales shortage may result in disciplinary action. Notwithstanding this, employees are at liberty to remedy any shortage they encounter,” he adds.
“It is not appropriate for employees to work long hours without overtime payment as this is not conformity with section 95 of the Employment Act. Choppies Enterprises was found not to be fully compliant with this section, particularly with regard to the rate of overtime payable during public holidays. Upon follow-up management indicated that the correct rates of overtime are being used.”
In conclusion Mabeo said his ministry advised the company’s management to establish social dialogue structures in order to minimize conflicts and employee grievances.